Cowboy Caviar!


I don’t eat beans. I think I’ve only used beans in, oh wait, I’ve never used beans! Maybe I’ve eaten soybeans or green beans, but that’s it. I never grew up with canned beans so I never think to buy them. 

Then I tried something called Cowboy Caviar. Think of it as a bean salsa. It’s one of those things you don’t really picture and start salivating over (OK, I don’t) but once you take a bite you can’t seem to stop. This recipe makes an enormous batch, btw. I wouldn’t say this was 8 servings, like the website I adapted this recipe from says. To me it’s more like 20 servings. I’m guessing the whole thing weighed 8-9 pounds. This recipes was adapted from, but with a few modifications and suggestions. 

Cowboy Caviar (adapted from 

printable recipe 


  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained
  • 15 oz. can black-eyed peas, drained
  • 3 small tomatoes, chopped and drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup Italian salad dressing*
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced

*Homemade Italian dressing: 

  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp. dried (or fresh) parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil



1) Mix everything together. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy! 


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Even though the recipe called for onion, I totally forgot to add the onion to mine. Doh! Next time…. 

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If you buy packages of frozen corn, they might come in sizes of 2/3 cup for each package. I ignored this and just used 2 packages. I’m not really concerned with exact measurements… 

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You can also use canned tomatoes for this too, but I just happened to have fresh tomatoes on hand. 


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I’m not a huge fan of green peppers, so instead of skipping them entirely, I minced them really fine. That way I get the essence of peppers without having to chew large chunks of them. I don’t want to be one of those people who goes through life avoiding most things because of an ingredient here or there. 

Did you know I hate bananas too? But I still use them in recipes to get myself used to the taste of them. 

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For some reason the minute I smell cilantro I think of Vietnamese food. I have never used cilantro for anything else other than Vietnamese food. It added that special touch to this recipe though. 


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I only went through the trouble of making my own Italian dressing because I didn’t have a bottle on hand, and I had a bunch of fresh parsley I needed to use. 



To explain how good this was, my husband and I ate it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and as a snack for the whole weekend. We polished it off last night. 



27 Thoughts on “Cowboy Caviar!

  1. mmm…so tasty….:)

  2. The name is good enough reason to try it! Yum!

  3. It looks so delish!

    My kids and I will totally be making this soon.

  4. Thanks guys! Lemme know what you think of it!

  5. This looks delicious! I love the idea of a bean salsa.

  6. Thanks!

  7. heyyyyyyyy canndyyyyyyy.. how have u beeenn??? how was the vacation?? this is a great one and sure gonna try it soooooon. tc

  8. Hi Nora!!!!! I missed you!!! And your comments!!! I’ve been doing well, going on another mini-vacation this weekend again! Have you gone anywhere this summer?

  9. not yet dear :( my husband been soo busy these days. but planing to go smwhere soon :)

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  11. I love these types of snacks. I can eat all I want and it’s healthy too.

  12. April in CT on August 16, 2009 at 10:21 am said:

    I’ve been making this for a few years (from that same source) and it’s always a big hit at parties. I sometimes use a can of Rotel with Mexican spices and it’s great. It’s so easy to change it up yet it always comes out fantastic. Thank you for adding in the dressing recipe and I can’t wait to try it!

  13. Dawn – we eat all we want too.

    April – I’ll have to look up Rotel, and try it that way. I just made it a second time this past week but with a lot less ingredients (skipped italian dressing, used drained salsa). Still good but not as good as the first attempt.

  14. I am so going to have to try this! Looks delish!

  15. Summer on August 18, 2009 at 10:42 am said:

    I used to live in Texas and they called this ‘Teaxas Caviar’ (those Texans like to lay claim to everything:). You really can’t leave out the Italian dressing, it’s just not the same. Try adding avacado! If you’re a fan it makes this dish a whole different animal:) You’ll dream about it at night….love your bloggage! Is that a word? It should be.

  16. Danielle – lemme know how it turns out!

    Summer – Texas Caviar…sounds fancier in a way :P Either way we love it, it’s sort of becoming a staple here. Avocado sounds sinful…I thought about putting it in, but I’m afraid I’ll just eat more of it. Bloggage sounds like a word, let’s go with it. :)

  17. Oh that is one of my favorite things to eat and I would have it everyday if I could! yours looks great!

  18. Thank you Gina!

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  24. This looks soooo yummy! Thanks for sharing.

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